The latest search activity analysis from Exchange and Mart reveals a steady rise in demand for automatic cars and estates, with supply not meeting demand.
Reflecting a growth in demand, dealer stock of automatic vehicles is actually increasing - accounting for 24% of dealer stock now, compared to 17%, just a year ago. However, in searches where transmission type is chosen, automatics account for 32% of the selections, suggesting that rising stock levels are not keeping pace with consumer popularity. Similarly, estate searches have increased from 8% to 17% of body type searches over the last year, while only accounting for 11% of current dealer stock.
Debra Healy, digital director for Exchange and Mart said: “Some of the reasons for the rise in demand for automatic cars could be that automatic gearboxes are getting better, ensuring they give a comparable level of performance or sometimes better performance and fuel economy than manual boxes. In addition, greater congestion on the roads means more people are turning to automatics to make their daily commute a bit less stressful.”
“When it comes to body types, dealers should be looking for stock that offers the extra boot space that comes with estates. It’s clear from the analysis, that the market needs to catch up with the demand. Dealers have an opportunity to fill the gaps in the market and the figures show just where those gaps are. Similarly, Ford, Mercedes and Volkswagen are seeing demand outstrip stock, so dealers should make sure they’re promoting any models by these manufacturers.“